Dollar Store Crafts


Do you know what kind of material the light fixture that everyone admires is composed of? What are we attempting to achieve? This is a clever use of Manila folders! As a bonus, it is really simple to put up. A manila folder & skewers are not necessary to complete this craft with less than three dollars.

Our lantern was crafted by my talented friend Jeanette, who generously consented to let me post it on our blog. Stronger than mine. Jeanette, thank you very much for your detailed instructions! Other delicious dishes may be found on her website.


hours to a few days is the range (including dry time for glue) duration of the glue curing process


• At the least, seven standard-size Manila folders cost little more than $1 each.

• 12 bamboo chopsticks 

It is possible to find beautifully textured papers for less than a buck, such as colored tissue paper or dumpling wrappers.

• Alene’s Tacky Adhesive 

• A painting medium (like Mod Podge)

• •When using a hot-glue gun or other adhesives like glue sticks,

• Pencil that has been honed to perfection

• Scissors, a crafting knife, and/or a sheet cutter are all necessary to have on hand in case.

Do quick work eliminating the folders’ rounded edges and tabs with a paper cutter or craft knife. After cutting the curved edges, every folder’s spine should be 8 inches broad from corner to corner.

As a guideline, you would require three of those folders designed to eliminate four equal-sized sections perpendicular to the spines in this folder. Dividing by four will give you the exact width of the strips. The top & bottom of the lampshade will be decorated with 12 strips.

Open a full-sized folder and set it lying down on your desk. A second folder should then be opened, ensuring that the glue doesn’t spread to other parts of the folder by placing one side on top.

Be sure to go through the process again and again until all four folders have been explored. Form a square by cementing the last panel and waiting for it to dry. This step is not required.

Repeat this procedure three times with the twelve strips you prepared previously.

Measure from the top of the light bulb housing to estimate the diameter of one of the smaller squares. Make a “grid” of skewers for the light bulb housing and the electrical socket. When in doubt, make a hunch and write it down.

A ruler may be used to locate the exact center of each square. In the center of each axe, an arrow should be drawn. Repeat the technique on the other side of the board. An awl or other tool can make holes in wood skewers. This may be seen in the images.) It is important to modify the adjacent sides’ markings to fit the thicker skewers/chopsticks. Using a pencil to mark tissue paper causes it to become more translucent. If it works, stick four skewers into each smaller square and remove them one at a time to test the decoupage technique. Make sure to pin any sharp edges before reinserting the device.

Decoupage the lampshade using tissue paper or textured rice paper. Make it wrinkly to provide depth and dimension to the surface. There should be an open top and bottom so that the light may be completed. The tissue paper will become more opaque if it is stacked on top.

When lighted, Manila folders appear opaque and golden; thus, it is best to use brightly colored sheets. After completing my prototype, I noticed that the folder logos lighted up when my lamp was on. Warning! Folders can be disguised by painting or pasting cloth ribbon around the lamp’s center.

Get out your glue gun and put the pieces together. To get the proper spacing, go to the final lampshade picture. Skewered and unskewered squares may also be seen on the top of the lamp. The lamp has a square base and a square light body.

The lamp’s dimmer control should be set to its lowest possible level. Attach a skewer or chopstick to the bottom-most square’s inside corner using hot glue or E6000.

With the open ends of the skewers, secure the lamp’s inner corners. A total of four skewers or chopsticks have been utilized.

There should be four 7-inch skewers in the upper half of the lamp’s inner and outer edges.

A skewer is placed on top of another. It may seem out of proportion if they are attached to the corners.

To complete the pattern, attach the skewers to the square at the very top with hot glue.

Insert the lampshade plug and skewer it before putting it in the light bulb kit. This is where the light kit should hang if your specifications are correct. A window sill or the ceiling of your room is a good place to place your light.